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The Lie Within
Artist: Willowfair
Label:  Indie
Length: 10 tracks 43:27

Willowfair began as a husband and wife team, Ryan and Mandy  Bibza in 2004. After playing for a year in the Chicago area with bands such as "The Wayside" and "Cool Hand Luke," Willowfair joined up with twin sisters Joy and Priscilla Deen (violin and cello), rounding out their sound. 

With, The Lie Within, the group creates a spacious and spatial mainly acoustic sound built largely around Mandy's wonderful piano work, Ryan's vocals, beautiful string work, and some very thoughtful lyrics.

Setting the tone is "Go." Though quiet and simple sounding, there is a quite a fight going on here. Trying to hold on to what we know is ours, even if it hurts, versus letting it, well, go. Piano and solo violin weave an otherworldly beauty to this song. "This tension continues on "Drained," with its jungley drums opposed to a melodious piano, but most ominous in character is "Without Screaming." Starting out with Ryan's breathy accapella voice,  we are given a warning to "get out now, save yourself without screaming, get out now, I can't help you!"  Hand claps, tambourines, and vocal percussion combine with a single drum beat and understated bass figure to push the point that where we find ourselves in not safe. Menacing and captivating. 

"Fragilis" is so delicate and moving. Featuring a most beautiful string movement the song speaks of God's perfection.

On the other end of that spectrum is "No More," with its enchanting, relaxing piano intro setting up the feeling that blend well with the lyrics. "No more sweat/On my brow/No more dreams/Make me shake/No more cries/Go unheard/Cause now/You're here/All the time."

"Fragilis" is  delicate and moving with a most beautiful string movement that builds nicely. The music melds seemlessly with the lyrics that speak of God's perfection.

All the pieces are here. Sonically, Willowfair certainly offers us an unusual combination of instruments embellished with their unique way of looking at and explaining this Christian life. Already a very good album, a top notch producer and studio would take Willowfair to the superlative level.

Bob Felberg


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